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GENTLEMEN  OF THE  PRESS                                 80

They  seemed almost as bitter against America  as against

"Why don't U.S. officers let their coloured soldiers into their
clubs ? *   At least six people asked that.

'How dare Roosevelt sign the Atlantic Charier when negroes
are not given equal rights in America ?'

'Has Britain signed a pledge with Roosevelt to murder negroes
as the British are murdering Indians ?'

For over an hour the bedlam continued. I will make no further
comment on it. That is best left to the Indian journalists them-
selves, of whom there were apparently a few decent specimens in
the room, though they certainly made no effort to interfere at the
time. In the Tunes of India on the following day one of them was
kind enough to say *We can only admire the amazing tolerance
and good humour with which Nichols faced the terrific barrage*'
The Indian Annalist observed editorially, 'We only hope that
Nichols will not judge India by this disgusting treatment at the
hands of half-baked journalists seeking yellow press notoriety/
The Sunday Standard stated, '* If this is the reception we propose
to accord to visitors wrho have, incidentally, given no possible
cause for offence, we cannot expect to be treated seriously by
world public opinion.'

Unfortunately, world public opiniou does treat the Indian
seriously.   We will therefore pause to examine it.

The first thing which strikes the professional journalist about
the average Indian newspaper is the astonishing smallness of its
circulation. At home, he is accustomed to thinking in terms of
millions, or at least of hundreds of thousands; out here—in a
country where everything else is on so vast a scale—he has to
think in terms of two or three thousand-, sometimes even two or
three hundred.
Needless to say, this observation is not intended as a reflection
on the quality of the newspapers themselves. Merit is often in
inverse ratio to circulation, and a weekly review with a sale of a